From "Buy Pat Toomey's Vote" to Office Protests: DeVos Stirs National Revolt

How do you defeat an uber-wealthy right-wing ideologue who wants to destroy public education?

With organized communities and people for starters.

And, of course… with money.

“If Betsy DeVos can buy Senator Toomey’s vote, we should be allowed to do the same.

With hopes raised after two Republican senators announced last week they would vote against Betsy DeVos—the billionaire nominated by President Trump for Secretary of Education—parents, teachers, students, and concerned community members are targeting other GOP senators, including Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, in hopes of pealing off the additional GOP vote or votes needed to defeat the pick.

#stopdevos Tweets

And in Toomey’s home state, one pro-education constituent found what could be a novel way to do so by crowd-funding more money than DeVos and her family provided to Toomey’s most recent re-election campaign—somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000—in order to “buy back” the vote he would otherwise cast for his benefactor when the Senate votes for her confirmation this week.

As they GoFundme campaign “” explains:

According to Philly Mag, the creative campaign was initiated by South Philadelphia educator and costume designer Katherine Fritz who said that if Toomey won’t accept the money, all of it would be donated to local educational charities.

As of Sunday afternoon, the campaign had raised $68,266—exceeding its set goal of approximately $61,000.

Even as angry constituents have been organizing against Sen. Toomey every week under the #TuesdaysWithToomey hashtag, it looks as though the Republican senator will still likely vote to confirm Devos and on Thursday released a statement indicating that intention.

“Because of Betsy’s work to expand charter schools, virtual schools, school choice, tuition tax credits, and education savings accounts, hundreds of thousands of children who had been trapped in failing schools have been able to access a quality education,” Toomey said in the statement. “She understands that reform should begin with parents and communities.”

And when it comes time for his next re-election, it might be those same “parents and communities” looking for a reform of their own.

But Toomey’s not the only one facing constituent protests for supporting DeVos.

On Saturday in Colorado, hundreds of parents, students, teachers, and their allies held a protest outside Sen. Cory Gardner’s offices in Denver as they called on him to vote against Devos.